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Intelligent Quotation

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Brian Lutz

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Intelligent Quotation

Intelligent Quotation The Orphan The Best Friend The Jr. High Dance The Parrot Ex: Graff and Birkenstein wrote a book entitled They Say / I Say. "Before you can select appropriate quotations, you need to have a sense of what you want to do with them--that is, how they will support your text at the particular point where you insert them" (43). In their seminal text, They Say/ I Say, Gerald Graff and Kathy Birkenstein argue that "In a way, quotations are orphans: words that have been taken from their original contexts and that need to be integrated into their new textual surroundings" (43). The MLA Handbook suggests that you, "Quote only words, phrases, lines, and passages that are particularly interesting, vivid, unusual or apt, and keep all quotations as brief as possible" (72).
The Norton Field Guide to Writing adds this rule: "Quote texts when the wording is worth repeating or makes a point so well that no rewording will do it justice, when you want to cite the exact words of a known authority on your topic, when his or her opinions challenge or disagree with those of others, or when the source is one you want to emphasize" (Bullock and Goggin 410). Quotes should be seamless You don't know the author; don't act like you're best friends. Marcia F. Muth authored the book Researching and Writing. It highlights the route between "Asking a Research Question" and "Citing Sources." In the text, Marcia says, "some students mistakenly believe that a paper stuffed with direct quotations will show an instructor how hard they have worked on their research. Ironically, however, many college instructors see the situation the other way around" (127). Quotes that really want to be on top of one another, but absolutely should not be. Barnet and Graff, in their texts, provide thoughtful assessments of the use and abuse of quotation. "Generally speaking, the more difficult the quotation, the more important is the introductory or explanatory lead-in, but even the simplest quotation profits from some sort of brief lead in" (199), "To adequately frame a quotation, you need to insert it into what we like to call a 'quotation sandwich,' with the statement introducing it serving as the top slice of bread and the explanation following it serving as the bottom slice" (46). Do not confuse repetition with explanation According to the MLA Handbook, "The accuracy of quotations in research writing is extremely important. They must reproduce the original sources exactly" (72). Therefore, we must be certain that we reproduce the words exactly when we quote something. The Ralphy The Ralphy consists of grammatical, stylistic, spelling and punctuational errors in quotations. Among the most abused offenders are:
Pronoun misuse
Tense changes
Agreement issues
Faulty parallelism Introduce your quotes
Give names (full or last)
Give context
Prepare audience for the argument the quote will forward
"Use language that accurately reflects the spirit of the quoted passage" (Graff and Birkenstein 47). Explain your quotes through analysis not summary Manipulate your quotations
Use brackets to add words, change tense, and match the quote to your sentence
Use ellipses to eliminate the unnecessary, the cluttered, or the confusing
Begin and end quotes so they best fit with your paragraph
Do none of this if it changes the meaning or tone of the quote or removes it from its context 1. Introduce the quotation with a complete sentence and a colon.
Example: In "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," Thoreau states directly his purpose for going into the woods: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Example: Thoreau's philosophy might be summed up best by his repeated request for people to ignore the insignificant details of life: "Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"
Examples come from Randy Rambo and can be found here: http://www2.ivcc.edu/rambo/eng1001/quotes.htm. All of the following examples will also come from this site. 2. Use an introductory or explanatory phrase, but not a complete sentence, separated from the quotation with a comma.
Example: In "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," Thoreau states directly his purpose for going into the woods when he says, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Example: Thoreau suggests the consequences of making ourselves slaves to progress when he says, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us."
Example: Thoreau asks, "Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?"
Example: According to Thoreau, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us." 3. Make the quotation a part of your own sentence without any punctuation between your own words and the words you are quoting.
Example: In "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," Thoreau states directly his purpose for going into the woods when he says that "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Example: Thoreau suggests the consequences of making ourselves slaves to progress when he says that "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us."
Example: Thoreau argues that "shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous."
Example: According to Thoreau, people are too often "thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the rails." 4. Use short quotations--only a few words--as part of your own sentence.
Example: In "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," Thoreau states that his retreat to the woods around Walden Pond was motivated by his desire "to live deliberately" and to face only "the essential facts of life."
Example: Thoreau argues that people blindly accept "shams and delusions" as the "soundest truths," while regarding reality as "fabulous."
Example: Although Thoreau "drink[s] at" the stream of Time, he can "detect how shallow it is." Premature Quotation Quotes that finish before they've started. Quotes of this variety typically begin paragraphs and have no introduction of context.
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